‘CCTV cameras installed at 29 shopping areas’

New Delhi: The city police has told the Delhi High Court that it has taken steps, including installation of CCTV cameras at strategic locations in 29 prominent markets and areas here, to avert and tackle any future terror attacks in the national capital.

In an affidavit filed before a bench of Acting Chief Justice AK Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw, police said cameras have been installed at these 29 places including Ramlila Ground and Karol Bagh.

A plan was also in the offing to install CCTV cameras in 28 other shopping areas, including Model Town and GTB Nagar, here, the affidavit said.

The court was hearing a PIL of Society of Indian Law Firms (SILF), filed through its president Lalit Bhasin, seeking adequate security arrangements against terror attacks in the aftermath of the audacious strike at a gate of the high court here on September 7, 2011.

Police, in its affidavit, said it has also conducted short term capsule courses to train its personnel to effectively deal with such incidents in future.

During the hearing, Bhasin however termed the steps of Delhi Police as "insufficient" and sought actions on the lines of Maharashtra which, after the recent Mumbai terror attacks, had taken various measures to safeguard the port city.

Maharashtra government, besides establishing an NSG hub in Mumbai, had raised a special team of "Force One", on the lines of NSG and also established 38 quick response teams (QRT) to deal with any future terror attacks in the state, Bhasin said.

The court, which was apprised by the Home Ministry that it has given inputs to the city police, has now fixed the case for hearing on March 14.

Earlier, the court had issued notices to the Home Ministry and the Delhi Police and asked them to reply to the PIL within six weeks.

The PIL had sought directions to the government to take "adequate security measures including deployment of the Rapid Action Force and the National Security Guard (NSG); to permanently station a battle ready unit/battalion of NSG in New Delhi; to assist, train and equip the police and security agencies in preparing themselves for threats such as terrorist attacks; to urgently and in a time bound manner formulate and implement a 'Crisis Management Plan'; to install CCTV cameras in all the courts; to update the disaster management agencies and many more measures."

"The petitioner is seriously concerned about the lack of security and safety of the citizens of the state and city of Delhi and the law and order situation, in the wake of various terrorist attacks in the country and the recent audacious terrorist attack in the heart of the city of Delhi on September 7, 2011 at the gates of the Delhi High Court," it said.

The recent events have also exposed basic intelligence failures, the lack of coordination among different governmental and bureaucratic functionaries as well as inadequate legal and regulatory mechanism and intent to cope with terrorist activities, it said.

The judicial intervention was the "only reliable course since the events of the last 15 years have demonstrated that merely relying upon promises of future action is insufficient and in fact is quickly forgotten", it said.